EMBARGOED till 00.01 Wednesday 11th February 2015
Issued 10th February 2015
PACTS welcomes the launch of driverless car trials by Government ministers Vince Cable and Claire Perry today [Wednesday 11th February] in Greenwich. The Government has completed a review of regulations which gives the green light to projects in Greenwich, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Bristol over the next two years. The review was necessary to ensure safety and legal clarity before the trails could go ahead.
“I am pleased to see the regulations for driverless cars clarified and for these projects to get underway.” says David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS. “Human error is involved in about 90% of crashes. Humans are unlikely to improve much as drivers whereas safety technology – driverless or driver assist – is advancing rapidly.
“There is currently huge interest in driverless cars and advanced vehicle technologies in the UK and globally. What seemed like science fiction only three years ago is now being treated as science fact. We welcome its development in the UK which should give us more opportunity to shape it rather than to have it all determined elsewhere.
He added, “These trials are designed more to understand the reaction of users, inside and outside the vehicles, than to test the technology. They are relatively modest but will hopeful yield valuable results that could be applied in more ambitious conditions. There is still a great deal to be learned, particularly about how people will react”.
PACTS is a member of advisory committee for the GATEway project which will trial driverless Meridian shuttles and valet parking in the Greenwich peninsular.
PACTS organised a conference Driverless Vehicles: from technology to policy at Thatcham Research last October. Transport Minister Claire Perry gave the keynote address. Delegates tried out the various “driverless” vehicles already available in the UK.
PACTS brings together members of Parliament, safety experts, industry leaders and road user groups. PACTS is supported by five technical working parties on air, rail and road safety. Its Vehicle Design Working Party is chaired by Richard Cuerden, vehicle safety expert and senior academy fellow at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). Members of the group are from MIRA, Thatcham Research, Loughborough University, Shell International, the DfT and other organisations.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (an All-Party Parliamentary Group) is also a registered charity. Its charitable objective is “To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit”.
Safe transport for all
Further media information: David G Davies 020 7222 7732
Executive Director, PACTS
Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (an All-Party Parliamentary Group)
Clutha House, 10 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London SW1P 3AY
https://www.pacts.org.uk/ Twitter: @pacts